18 August 2011
The UCL Ear Institute, with support from UCLB, is delighted to be working with Autifony Therapeutics Limited (Autifony) to develop effective treatments for tinnitus and other hearing disorders. Autifony is a spin-out from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with preclinical assets targeting voltage-gated ion channels, the modulation of which is thought to have potential in the treatment of hearing disorders, including noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. Autifony’s team will be working in collaboration with Professor David McAlpine and Dr Jennifer Linden, leading experts in auditory neuroscience at UCL’s Ear Institute. As well as working with Autifony, UCL is also a founder shareholder in Autifony, along with GSK, Imperial Innovations and SV Life Sciences.
About UCL Ear Institute
In 2000 an £11m Joint Infrastructure Fund grant from the Wellcome Foundation was awarded to build a Centre for Auditory Research to bring together auditory research scientists and clinicians from across UCL. The new centre was a companion to the long standing Institute of Laryngology and Otology (ILO) and its incorporated School of Audiology. This cross faculty, multidisciplinary group needed a new, unifying identity so the ILO was disestablished and the Ear Institute created. Professor David McAlpine became the new Director of the Ear Institute in June 2006, taking over from Prof Tony Wright. In partnership with the RNTNEH, the Ear Institute now constitutes the largest single grouping of basic and clinical scientists interested in hearing and deafness in the UK.
For further information, please see the website: www.ucl.ac.uk/ear
Autifony Therapeutics Limited is a newly created UK biotech company dedicated to discovering new medicines to treat hearing disorders, such as hearing loss and tinnitus. Given the novelty of this therapeutic area, Autifony is taking a novel approach, uniting in-house ‘big pharma’ experience of discovering drugs for CNS (central nervous system) indications with an efficient, virtual network of discovery services provided by preferred contract research organisations, and coupling this to expertise in hearing within top academic institutions, including UCL’s Ear Institute. Autifony has also forged strong links with the UK charity, Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) who provide an important insight into the needs of people with hearing disorders, and thus help us to ensure that the new medicines that we discover will meet their needs.